Mavridis’ atrophy in Parkinson’s disease: “The peak of the iceberg”

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Parkinson’s disease (PD), a common neurologic disease, is an archetypal disorder of dopamine dysfunction characterized by motor, cognitive, behavioral and autonomic symptoms. The human nucleus accumbens (NA), a limbic-motor interface, is crucially involved in PD, not only in its pathogenesis and clinical manifestations but in the effects of several treatment efforts as well. NA atrophy in PD, Mavridis’ atrophy (MA), was discovered 4 years ago. The purpose of this article was to review the current knowledge regarding the role of ΜΑ in PD as well as to suggest future research directions. Summarizing the current knowledge regarding MA, we could say that this phenomenon begins in early-stage PD patients and is correlated with psychiatric symptoms that occur in PD, mainly apathy and impulsive behavior. Moreover, MA is also associated with cognitive PD symptoms. Thinking of how well we know the role of MA in PD, we are probably seeing just “the peak of the iceberg.” It is particularly important that we know that an unexplored “iceberg” exists, but we currently have just a look at its “peak.” Further research is necessary to enrich our knowledge and consequently improve our understanding of the significance of the role of MA in PD.

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